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Mubarak, el-Adly, and six top police officers are charged in connection with the killings of protesters. All eight could face the death penalty if convicted. The charge sheet said that Mubarak “allowed (el-Adly) to use live ammunition” in the crackdown on protesters.

Separately, Mubarak and his two sons face charges of corruption. According to the prosecutors, the father and sons received five villas worth nearly $7 million from prominent businessman Hussein Salem in return for using their influence to get him a lower price for state land to build a resort complex in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Near Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protesters, a dozen people swarmed around newspapers at a stand, reading headlines about the trial. One man spit on a picture of Mubarak on a front page.

“When he is in the cage and we know he is there, then we know we have started to put our feet on the path of justice,” said the newspaper seller, Nabil Hassan, 65. “If he and his accomplices are in court, he becomes one of the people no different from anyone else facing justice. I have faith in Egyptian judges.”

AP correspondents Tarek el-Tablawy, Sarah El Deeb and Aya Batrawy contributed to this report.